Things you should know.

Originally today I was going to post a review but in light of the circumstance that occurred earlier this week I thought it would be best to post about my review policy instead.  A few months ago an author asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her book.  After reading the summary I decided that I would accept this book for review. However after posting my review the author posted some negative feedback. One of her complaints was that I was not qualified to review her novel because I didn't read the genre exclusively.  
I found this point of her complaint laughable because she had asked me to review her novel. I don't feel like I need to read a genre exclusively to be qualified to have an opinion. If she had read my review policy she would have known that To Read or Not To Read reviews a variety of genres.  She would have also know what to expect from my reviews. 

Why should you read review policies? 

Most book review blogs have a review policy somewhere on their site. Review policies are important because it tells you what to expect from a particular blogger's book reviews. Review policies usually let you know what genres are reviewed and what to expect from the blogger's reviews. Some review policies are more detailed than others. It's always a good idea to check out the policies when you're interested in a blog as well as reading some of their reviews. 

To Read or Not To Read's review policy:

I review many genres including but not exclusive to: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Supernatural, Steampunk, Romance, Gothic, Middle Grade, PNR and Classic Literature.  I occasionally read books outside my usual genres. I pick books based on my interest. If I'm reading a book it's because there is something about that book that grabbed my attention regardless of the genre. 

My reviews are subjective. They are based on my thoughts, feelings and opinions about the book. I feel it is not only a responsibility to myself but to the people who read my reviews to be honest.  I have a huge appreciation for authors and all the effort that goes into creating a novel. I always take that into consideration when writing a review. However submitting a book for review does not guarantee a glowing review.  

I work hard to make my reviews fair and honest. I put a lot of thought, effort and time into them. However if a book has been submitted for a review and the submitter can't take the time to check out my review policy and/or any past reviews written to see if this review site is a good fit, I have to file that under 'not my problem,' to put it bluntly. 

I use a rating system in my reviews. I rate books according to my overall opinion of the novel. My rating system is self-explanatory. I stand by my reviews. I won't apologize for giving a rating that reflects my opinion of the book(s) I review.  Nor will I change my rating because of negative feedback. 

To Read or Not To Read is a labor of love. I love this blog and the opportunities it gives me. I love discovering new authors, sharing my thoughts on books and interacting with other book lovers.  

I hope I haven't bored you too much with this post. Thanks for reading!


  1. Makes me wonder who this person is. I've seen/read a couple of similar complaints about an author requesting reviews only to become snarky once the review is done. I'm not meaning to say this is the same person, but this is getting ridiculous. If you REQUEST a review, take the comments like a big kid and don't go throw a tantrum. Holding your breath will not get your way but it is a good way to get yourself killed. ::Shrugs::

  2. I'm not sure if this is the same author or not. I did feel that her complaints were ridiculous. She ranted about it on my review on goodreads and then again on her author page on goodreads. One thing was clear about her rant is that she had no idea what my blog was about.

  3. Wow, that is seriously f'd up! Especially because the author requested it. Geez people! I say don't worry about it.

    I probably should add a review policy to my blog - I just never thought of it till now, so thanks. ;)

  4. Tyraa,I'm not worried about it. Unfortunately these things happen all the time. I would recommend you have a review policy. It makes things easier most of the time. LOL

  5. I completely agree! Thank you so much for posting this. Occassionally I get review requests that have nothing to do with anything I read. Then, I know that the person has (1) never read my blog and (2) has not read my review policy. It is annoying because I don't want to tell authors that I would probably not enjoy their book or that I don't want to review it.

    I just wish authors/publishers would take more time selecting who they would like to review their books. If they picked people who are more likely to enjoy the books, everyone wins.

    Great post!


  6. @Michelle, I've heard quite a few bloggers complain that they get a lot of review offers for books that aren't in their genre. I think it would be helpful and less time consuming for everyone if review policies are read.

  7. Reading my review policy is a must for all my review requests..I won't take a request if they don't start the email with my name, because obviously they haven't even seen my page. When I do take a request I send a link to my review policy to ensure that they have received it. I haven't had your experience before Marcie and I think you handled it in a very mature way, unlike the author.

  8. Thanks Kelsey. That's a great idea. I just assumed that she had read it. I've been toying around with including that in my review request form. However from now on I'm going to make sure it's been read before excepting a request.

  9. Wow I'm surprised that an author would do this! I mean, any review is still promotion in a way, even if its not as raving as they would like it to be. You hope that authors read your policy but you know that some of them done, especially when you get review requests asking you to review a book that is not included in your policy in terms of genre.

  10. Ugh, that's not fair at all and I'm glad you're not letting it get to you.
    I always include a sum-up of my review policy in emails too, if I chose to accept the book. I always say that I will be honest in the review and don't promise a positive one. I hate writing negative reviews. I wish I could like every book I review, but some are not just for me. I firmly believe that every book has an audience, but sometimes they're not for me.

  11. @Patricia's Particularity, I always assumed that my review policy was read. Since I review a variety of genres I hardly ever get a request that doesn't fit into my review. I do get requests for horror every now and then. LOL.
    @Jenn, I will definitely start making sure that the submitter has read the policy before I except a review. As far as this particular review is concerned the author was upset that I didn't give her book a higher rating. I gave her a 3/5, which is "I like it" She thought the reason I didn't rate her book higher was because I didn't understand it and b/c I don't read her genre exclusively. I don't like writing negative reviews either but I have to be honest. Other people might love her book but for me it was only a like. You're right not every book is for everyone. This has definitely been a learning experience.


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